In a small shared yard in Benguela, Angola, the women of Noloti’s family have gathered. Her aunt Constantina sits quietly in the corner, a vivid turban covering her head, mum Isobel and her two younger sisters, Severina and Bibiana, rest against the wall. In the background is the constant rush of water as neighbours come to use the communal tap. For the family, life has been tough. Three years ago, Noloti’s relationship broke down and she returned home, along with her two small boys Adriano and Feliciano. As she explains it was difficult to survive:
“Before I started working for HALO, first I worked as a maid in the city, then I worked in a bar, then I tried to earn money selling things at market. But sometimes I might work for two or three months and not get paid. The place I find myself in now I am a deminer for HALO is very different, it is good now.”
Isobel adds, “Noloti is able to help a lot with the house. She will buy 12 litres of oil or 25kg of rice, she can pay for the gas and support her boys.”
Her aunt agrees, pointing to her legs she explains Noloti also helps pay for her medicine. Constantina recalls the years of war and the landmines vividly.